Car Accident Risks For Pregnant Victims
Car accidents can cause traumatic injuries to the occupants of the vehicles involved, regardless of their sex, age, or health status. When one of the victims is pregnant, however, she could face additional risks, not only to her own health, but to the health of the unborn child. This is why it is especially important for pregnant motorists to seek immediate medical care after a crash, as even a minor accident can cause life-threatening injuries for the mother or child.
Recovering compensation from the at-fault party who caused an accident is often the only way for injured mothers to obtain compensation for their medical bills and other losses following a crash. For help filing your own claim, call a dedicated Tulsa auto accident lawyer today.
A pregnant woman can sustain all the same types of injuries as any other motorist, including broken bones, lacerations, and head trauma. Pregnant motorists are also, however, at risk of suffering specific pregnancy-related injuries. Placental abruption, for instance, can occur if the force of a collision causes the placenta to detach, either partially or completely, from the uterine wall. Placental abruption is dangerous, as it can disrupt the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the baby, causing tissue damage, brain injury, cerebral palsy, and even death. Placental abruption is the most common cause of fetal loss in car accidents, occurring in as many as 20 to 50 percent of severe crashes in which an occupant was pregnant.
Another risk for pregnant motorists is injury to the uterus, including rupture and lacerations. Often, these injuries are caused by a woman’s abdomen coming into contact with the seat belt, steering wheel, or instrument panel during the collision. The most common uterine injuries include:
- Rupture; and
Uterine injuries rarely occur on their own. Many, for instance, are accompanied by placental abruption or direct fetal injury.
Direct Fetal Injury
During serious car accidents, a pregnant woman could also suffer a direct fetal injury. This is especially common in cases of uterine rupture or pelvic fracture. The most frequently injured part of the fetus is the head, which is prone to fracture if positioned against the maternal pelvis or spine at the time of the crash. The thorax and abdomen are also prone to injury.
Other Negative Outcomes
Some pregnant car accident victims suffer complications even when they don’t sustain an injury to their placenta, uterus, or fetus. A woman could, for instance, end up delivering prematurely, so a child could have a low birth rate or suffer from a respiratory distress issue because its lungs were not fully developed. Even when a fetus is close to full term, a mother could require an emergency cesarean delivery, which poses a higher risk to both the mother and the child.
Experienced Tulsa Car Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one were pregnant at the time of your crash and you or the baby suffered a pregnancy-related injury, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical bills and other losses. Call 918-492-4433 to learn more about your legal options from the dedicated Tulsa auto accident lawyers at Levinson Law, P.C.